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Prince’s Research Excerpts: Temples & Mormonism – 1929

Below you will find Prince’s research excerpts titled, “Temples, 1929.” You can view other years here.

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TEMPLES, 1929.

1929:  1 Jan.:  Rules for Logan Temple.

“Although it is preferable that baptisms for the living be not performed in the Temples, yet because of local conditions, permission has been given in the Logan Temple to do so. . . .

Baptisms for health are not performed in the Temple. . . .

A living woman cannot receive endowments while her husband is alive, if the husband has not been endowed. . . .

Those who are worthy of receiving recommends to be married in the Temple should not have the marriage ceremony performed before coming to the Temple, unless there is some good and justifiable reason for doing so, such as having to delay an undesirable length of time before they could come, or having to travel alone a long distance to reach the Temple. . . .

All the members of a family should be sealed to their parents at the same time, if possible. . . .

No person should have the ordinance of Sealing of Children performed for those who are not of their own lineage. . . .

Shoes worn out of doors should be removed from the feet, in the Temple Annex, slippers may be substituted therefor.”  (“Appointments, Instructions and Suggestions Issued by The Logan Temple January 1, 1929 For the Use of Presidents of Stakes, Bishops of Wards and Genealogical Committees in the Logan Temple District.”)

Jan.:  1st organized ward temple night?

“The High Council was divided into two groups under the captaincy of the counselors in the stake presidency.  One group goes to the Salt Lake temple each week taking their wives with them and encouraging others to do likewise.  The stake presidency try to be there, early to greet those who come; and all agree that this is one of the most enjoyable and profitable evenings spent anywhere.  

The bishops are asked to organize their wards into temple groups and have a regular ‘temple night’ with their bishopric leading out and being present to greet the members of their ward.  

Stake and ward auxiliary organizations are encouraged to have temple excursions at regular intervals.  Transportation is arranged in the wards to take those who have no means of conveyance and many who are not otherwise interested are willing to assist by taking their cars and carrying the workers to and from the temple.

Melchizedek Priesthood quorums are taking the matter up and find here a splendid opportunity to engage in the work of saving souls while unable to do missionary work.

One night each month is ‘Granite Stake Night’ and on this occasion all of these groups join in an effort to have a banner attendance.  Record of attendance is kept and there is a friendly rivalry to see which group has the best record for the month.”  (President Hugh B. Brown of Granite Stake, “Let Us Go Up to the Temple,” UGHM 20:39, Jan., 1929)

29 Mar.:  Special prayer circles discontinued.

“By 1929 the growing membership of the Church had highlighted the inequity of having such special prayer circles for the privileged few.  Because of their increasing exclusiveness, special prayer circles were discontinued by the First Presidency in 1929.  On 29 March 1929, Apostle James E. Talmage explained this decision to his own prayer circle:

Bro. Talmage acknowledged the benefit of the administration he received last week.  He also explained the history of the organization and carrying on of prayer circles both in and out of the Temple and then explained that it was decided by the First Presidency and Council of the Twelve that all special circles would hereafter be discontinued. . . . He explained that membership in circles was of necessity a special privilege which of necessity couldn’t be extended to all who were worthy and might desire membership, whereas the temple ordinance work, which is of greater importance and included the circle ceremony is available to every worthy Latter Day Saint who desires to avail himself of the advantage.”

(D. Michael Quinn, “Latter-day Saint Prayer Circles,” BYU Studies 19(1):99-100; quoting James E. Talmage Prayer Circle Minutes, 1912-1929, 29 Mar., 1929 entry; see also James E. Talmage diary, 29 Mar., 1929)

7 Apr.:  The law of adoption–20th century interpretation.

“We have also a number in the Church, who, so far as we are able to judge and learn, did not originally belong to the house of Israel at all.  Then you say, where do they get their blessings?  What is their lineage?  Well, I explain that in this way:  When you adopt a child that does not belong to you originally, and that child grows up in your family, it obtains its blessings the same as other members of your family.  It is the same as your own.  If I adopt a child that is born in the world I share my blessings with that child, as he shares his blessings with me.  In my household I am responsible, he partakes at the same ‘table,’ the same blessings.  By the law of adoption that child receives his right to the blessings of my household, and therefore he belongs to my household through the law of adoption.  Through our faithfulness we are all adopted into the fold of Christ.  We are His and His blessings are upon us, through our faithfulness in obeying the laws of His Gospel.  And so, if other people outside of the house of Israel have faith and obedience enough to come into the Church they will receive their lineage and blessings according to the house which they enter.  If they enter into the family of Israel they will receive the same lineage as the house or tribe that adopted them, just the same as the adopted child receives the blessings of the family that adopted him.

That is my idea.  I hope that I have made it clear.  And so today we are discovering, through the kindness and mercy of the Lord, that His promises are being fulfilled and that His blessings are being received by those who are observing his laws and keeping his commandments.”  (Hyrum G. Smith, Patriarch to the Church; General Conference Address, 7 Apr., 1929; UGHM 20:125-126, Jul., 1929)

13 Apr.:  Local decision to discourage civil marriages.

“Today the High Council met. . . . Quite a number of things were discussed.  It was decided that when a young man went off and got married by the civil authorities not saying any thing to his Bishop that the Bishop is not to give him a recomend to the Temple for 6 months.  Our young people should know that it is contrary to the teachings of the Church for young people to be married by the Civil Laws.  They should go to the Temple to make their sacred covenants and recieve the Blessing of the Lord.  It is hoped that this decision will have the Effect that less of our young people will be married by the Civil Law.”  (Joseph I. Earl diary, 13 Apr., 1929; LC Collection)

28 Apr.:  Andrew Jenson’s prayer circle discontinued.

“On April 28th the prayer circle to which I had belonged since 1883 and which had held regular meetings for a number of years in the Temple under the presidency of Apostle George Albert Smith was discontinued.  This circle was organized in 1849 with Apostle Charles C. Rich as president and had had a continued existence ever since under different presidents.  For a long time after its discontinuance, those of us who had been members could not easily forget the enjoyable meetings we had experienced, and the friendship, love and good-will which had cemented our hearts together were never forgotten.  It was considered at this time that there were too many prayer circles held in the Church, especially in Salt Lake City, as the regular sessions in the Temple there had grown from two to six per day.”  (Autobiography of Andrew Jenson, p. 604)

1 May:  Proposed Hedrickite temple on Temple Lot.

“An Associated Press dispatch dated Independence, April 12, informed the world that ‘the Church Christ’ in that locality had decided to build a temple on the Temple lot, to cost $700,000.  The members of the church mentioned, I may say, are generally known as ‘Hedrickites.’  According to the dispatch, the Lord had, through an angel, revealed to them that they were expected to begin construction immediately.

The revelation referred to was supposedly given a year ago.  It is dated Port Huron, Mich., March 22, 1928, and is signed by Otto Fetting, who claims to be one of the apostles.  He says he has had five visits of the angel since February 4, 1927.  The messenger, he says, informed him that he and three other men were to assist in the building of the house of the Lord, and begin in 1929.  The Lord would give them, they were told, seven years in which to complete the structure.  Steel and concrete were to be the materials, and, we read, ‘let the outside be gray stone, polished.’  The angel said the main floor was to seat 3,500 people, and ‘the cloud’ would rest upon the house whenever the people were assembled in it, ‘in humility and love.’

Mr. Fetting was directed by the angel to send his ‘message’ first to his ‘brethren who believe in the coming of Christ and the building of the temple,’ which may perhaps include the Latter-day Saints, who are looking for the glorious coming of the Savior and are actually engaged in temple work, preparatory to His appearance.

The angel also predicted famine and ‘many things that shall make people idle and no work, and all those that shall not seek to supply themselves with the fruits of the soil will suffer.'”  (J. M. Sjodahl, JI 64(5):263, 1 May, 1929)

2 Aug.:  Temple recommends issued in missions.


Dear Brethren:

Owing to the frequent change in branch and district presidents and the fact that mission presidents are obliged to be away from headquarters much of the time, it is deemed advisable to make an exception to the rule regarding the honoring of temple recommends, so far as it pertains to the missions of the Church.

Instructions have this day been issued to the Presidents of the various Temples that in the future temple recommends issued to members of record in the missions, should, when properly signed, be honored at any time within six months after the date of issuance.

Sincerely your brother,

Heber J. Grant”

(2 Aug., 1929, First Presidency Circular Letters, LDS Archives, CR 1/1)

30 Sep.:  Instructions for following ancestral lines.

“For the guidance of our people in tracing their ancestral lines and linking up their family connections by sealing, the following instructins were approved by the Presidency of the Salt Lake Temple, Sept. 30, 1929:

In all cases where it is discovered that a woman, now deceased, was during her life married more than once, the decision as to which husband she is to be sealed should rest with the President of the Temple in your Temple District.

In all cases, where children are sealed to a person not their own parent by birth, the line of the parent by sealing should be followed by their descendants in research and temple work, the same as in the case of a lineal ancestor.

It is legitimate and proper to also trace the line of the actual progenitor in this case, even though such person is outside the line of sealing.

In the case of a child born out of wedlock, where the mother later marries, it is customary for the mother to be sealed to her husband and the child to be sealed to this couple.

In charting ancestral connections, if any other than lineal ancestors appear on the chart, this should be definitely stated, at the place where such connection by sealing is given.”

(UGHM 23:159, Oct., 1932)

Oct.:  Masonic connection.

“There are certain temple ceremonies always connected with temples of God.  In Solomon’s temple there were certain precincts which only the high priest was permitted to enter, for participation in the rites pertaining thereto.  In the temple referred to, those rites and ceremonies consisted of oral instruction and illustrating symbols indicating the progress of mankind.  They told of the beginnings of men’s occupancy of the earth, and of the instructions from God, and the conditions and rewards pertaining thereto.  They told also of the efforts of the evil power to draw mankind away from the precepts of Deity.  They explained how observance of those precepts brought peace and joy and happiness throughout the ages; and how disregard thereof brought the opposite result.  They indicated how that through the activity of evil powers, persecution and mortal suffering necessarily would come to those who sought to live righteous lives; but that when human selfishness, greed, and unlawful desires were overcome by the principle of sacrificing these human appetites by overcoming them, there would come victory over those baser human attributes, and these attributes would be replaced by God-like attributes of a higher and nobler life.  they also pointed out that as in his superior wisdom God knoweth best, the noblest results are achieved by obedience to his laws, despite the temptations, devices, difficulties and persecutions inspired from an evil source, of which men sometimes are ignorantly the agents.  These rites and ceremonies, consisting of oral and symbolic instruction, constitute the temple ceremonies.

In Solomon’s temple this ritual contained historical record only up to the time of its administration.  As a history in symbol and recital it could contain no more.  Beyond this, there are the sacred promises for the future, as given in prophetic symbol and prophetic promise.  The chief of these pertained to the anticipated resurrection from the dead, and the eternal judgment which awarded to mankind the result of their actions, based upon their conformity to God’s law, as they had opportunity which comes in great measure from their diligence in adopting that conformity.  The actual symbols are very few.  The personification and illustration of historic events and prophetic promise are more numerous, as might be expected.

The historic part of the temple ceremonies at the time of the opening of the Christian era came down only to that time; they could not do more.  The prophetic part included the vital unfulfilled predictions of the succeeding period.  Thus the ceremonies of the temple at Jerusalem had only the promise of the resurrection; and as the Levitical and temple officers among the Jews did not then, and never have done, accept the fact of the resurrection of Christ, that fact never became to them a historical part of the ceremony, but remained a ceremonial promise.  Hence, everything based exclusively on the Jewish temple sceremonies must stop at this point, as ritual.

Eighteen centuries later came the dispensation of the fulness of times, when, according to Scripture, all things will be gathered in one in Christ.  The temple ritual of this later period then must include in the historic part of its ceremony, not only the resurrection, but the falling away from the Church where such was the case, and the renewed revelation of the Gospel for the new dispensation.  The historical part of the ceremonies may be made more compact, this being justified by circumstances, and more detail be given to the prophetic part, which is closer and of more immediate importance.  The older ceremonies, too, were under the Scriptural lesser law, in which only priestly officials took part, while the newer dispensation is under the higher or more perfect law, in which all who obey the Gospel take part.  Thus, under the Mosaic law, which was ‘a schoolmaster to bring the people to Christ,’ only a selected portion of the male population in Israel were permitted to officiate; uinder the fulness of Christ’s law there is no such restriction; the fulness or complete revelation of the Gospel takes in all the obedient, male and female, in their special capacity.

The ceremonies and symbols, constituting the ritual, are therefore sacred, but not necessarily secret except to those who have not obeyed the Gospel, and who have no legitimate business or concern therewith, either through morbid curiosity or illegitimate interference.  For comparison, there are family matters that belong to the family immediately concerned, and with which no other self-respecting person will interfere.

Some of this ritual, too, belongs for engaging therein only to the sacred precincts of the Temple of God, while other parts may, as designated, be of more general use; such, for illustration, as the laying on of hands for the healing of the sick, by anointing the head with oil and the blessing by the elders.

Thus the temple ceremonies, whether of the antediluvian or postdiluvian dispensations, are purely religious, and are educational in being a full representation of the Gospel plan in the world, whether historic or prophetic, according to the measure of each.  In the latter-day dispensation they are more complete in the participation thereof by the race of which it is God’s promise that in them ‘shall all the nations of the earth be blessed’–the patriarchs, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, and their faithful descendants; but not of the unfaithful or unconverted.  This purely sacred religious character of the ceremonies of the Temple of God should be clear to all thoughtful and considerate people, without any suggestion of mystery.  It is plain, simple, common sense, with no mysterious attachments.  In latter days, the temple ceremonies embrace all former-day dispensations–a completed record to this time in the history of mankind.

It is said that what is known as the Masonic order has rites based on ceremonies in Solomon’s temple.  That order is a fraternal organization, not a religious one.  If it happens to have one, two, or three of the religious symbols of Solomon’s temple ceremonies, then, so far as accurate, those must be a part of the true religious ritual.  That fraternal order has the right to keep its ritual sacred and secret, and it is not the business of others so long as it does not interfere with the rights of others.  But if it has borrowed some of its symbols from the rites of a religious temple ceremony, it has no right to complain of the use of that religious ceremony as determined by the religious order which is primarily a rightful occupant and participator.  For analogy, man was given dominion over the earth, but that did not deprive God of his dominion over the universe, including the earth, nor stop man from exercising his right of dominion.  Upon this point there seems to be no ground for disagreement in opinion or thought, but it is rather a field for unanimity in both thought and action.”  (James H. Anderson, “Temple Ceremonies,” [lead article] IE 32(12):969-971, Oct., 1929)